A Kiss in Your Pocket: Imagine (#AtoZChallenge #LovePoetry)


Long day from work—you,
dozing off in my lap, me
massaging oil in your hair

2019© Nortina Simmons


A Kiss in Your Pocket: Happily (#AtoZChallenge #LovePoetry)


Morning, you’re brighter
than the sun today; let me
brush the hair from off
your face—skin gleaming like light—
Hon, have you seen your own smile?

2019© Nortina Simmons

A Kiss in Your Pocket: Gazing (#AtoZChallenge #LovePoetry)


After the rain, clouds
cleared just enough for me to
spot one star, and on
it, I wished for you—to see
your eyes, when I open mine

2019© Nortina Simmons

A Kiss in Your Pocket: Fresh (#AtoZChallenge #LovePoetry)


In your movements, such
grace, like freshly washed bed sheets
fluttering in the spring breeze

2019© Nortina Simmons

A Kiss in Your Pocket: Easter (#AtoZChallenge #LovePoetry)


Open me up, test
how fertile the ground—love me,
frequently, as bunnies do

2019© Nortina Simmons

A Kiss in Your Pocket: Diabetic (#AtoZChallenge #LovePoetry)


Candied apple pie,
drizzle down, sweet caramel,
your lips taste divine;
To sacrifice, darling—for
you, I’d gladly lose a limb

2019© Nortina Simmons

A Kiss in Your Pocket: Cherry (#AtoZChallenge #LovePoetry)


Sugar-sweet gum drops,
candy cane lollipops; kiss
me like soda pop.
Never had a love stop . . . [ahhh] my
heart—til you—came right on top

2019© Nortina Simmons

A Kiss in Your Pocket: Being (#AtoZChallenge #LovePoetry)


Cold again, but my
heart beats warm blood through soul veins—
To see you is life

2019© Nortina Simmons

A Kiss in Your Pocket: Again (#AtoZChallenge #LovePoetry)


Blossom buds on branches;
Snow returned—fresh, raw—and your
sweet nectar, delayed

2019© Nortina Simmons

A Kiss in Your Pocket: Pocket-Sized Love Poetry (#AtoZChallenge Theme Reveal)

So . . .

I’m sure you’re wondering . . .

Where the hell I’ve been . . .

The short answer . . . Getting my life together.

You’ve got to check in on us millennials every once in a while, you know. We’re quickly approaching 30, and we are not okay. 

The real answer . . . I really haven’t been writing much of anything lately. I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s been so hard for me to write. Call it fear of failure, fear of success, lack of fresh ideas, writer’s block, an aversion to reading words on the computer because it already consumes my days at the 9-to-5—honestly, I don’t know why. I tried to figure it out in this post, but still, there’s really no straight answer. So, I’ve just been away.

But the good news is I’m back. And it’s no coincidence that it’s just in time for the A to Z Challenge, either. I’ve always enjoyed participating in this challenge, and if anything is going to force me to climb out from underneath my rock, it’s being challenged to write a new post every day (except on Sundays) for 26 days for each letter of the alphabet.

So, without further ado, let’s get into this very late theme reveal, shall we?

A Kiss in Your Pocket: Pocket-Sized Love Poetry

Maybe you’ve noticed my love haiku and love tankas that I post periodically on this blog?

I’ve always loved the Japanese poetry form, and the short love poem is something I’ve always enjoyed writing. Like a little note you’d write to a lover and leave for them to discover on their desk, or chair, or pillow just to surprise them and show how much you care for and cherish them.

So I had an idea, a few years back, of publishing some of my favorite love haiku and tankas in a chapbook . . . a chapbook of short love poems—pocket-sized ones, as the title suggests. I think the idea of A Kiss in Your Pocket was first inspired by my studies of early African American poet George Moses Horton, who sold personalized love poems to students for 25 to 75 cents apiece. I imagined him walking the streets around campus, a pocket full of scribblings of short love poems on paper. Passing them along to lovesick students for a couple of cents, who would then share them with loved ones and friends.

So here is my pocket full of love poems to you. However, to make things a little interesting, I just don’t want to write a poem to a lover, I want that lover to respond. So, I’ll be experimenting with two different kinds of Japanese poetry forms, ones specifically meant to be written between lovers: the sedoka (a pair of 5-7-7 or 5-7-5 syllable katauta, or half-poems that act as a question and answer conversation between lovers) and the somonka (two tankas written as two love letters between lovers).

Starting tomorrow, I’ll post the first half of the sedoka or somonka (the call), and the next day, I’ll post the lover’s response, continuing from A to Z. At the end of the month, I’ll have 13 pairs of pocket-sized love poems!

I hope you’ll enjoy them. And if you think I should definitely move forward with that chapbook idea, please leave me a comment below. Encouragement is the best motivation. 🙂